The economy of Mauritius is expected to grow by 3.4 per cent this year, Finance Minister Xavier-Luc Duval, said on Friday night when he presented the 2013 budget proposals to parliament.
This is the same growth rate forecast by the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
“Growth is visible across the country. The number of first time home buyers has increased by 20 per cent. The number of containers imported for the local economy has grown by 6.3 per cent and new cars registered in the first nine months by 32 per cent,” he said.
The Minister said inflation had cooled to 4.1 per cent and the debt to GDP ratio would decline to 54.2 per cent.
According to him, the new budget proposals would embrace technology and reinforce the island’s Africa Strategy, support growth and create employment, strengthen public services, protect the vulnerable and ensure sound macroeconomic management.
Stressing on the rise of Africa, the Finance Minister said Africa was indeed at the dawn of a new era.
“There are genuine and strong foundations for hope – the hope that the continent will be able to firmly engage the path of sustainable development, the hope that millions of men, women and children will find their way out of poverty and the hope of meaningful increases in the standard of living for millions more.”
He said the Mauritian responsibility was to share its experience on democracy, governance and development, encourage fast tracking regional integration, enlarge economic opportunities for citizens and acting as a catalyst for investment.
“This is our Africa Strategy and next year, we will pursue this agenda relentlessly,” Duval added.
He said Mauritius would further contribute to that effort by launching a new scholarship scheme for 50 deserving African students.
Regarding the economic pillars of the island, Duval stressed that the manufacturing sector was one that would “continue to astound us with its ingenuity”.
“Textile has not just survived but grown stronger and increasingly globally competitive against all odds and in the face of incredible challenges,” he said.
The textile industry in Mauritius employs more than 50,000 persons and generates more than 14 billion rupees annually (US$1= 31.9 rupees).